We caught up with LaKyoto ahead of their launch night at Sneaky Pete’s this coming Sunday (April 2nd). Give it a read below as we talk new material, the bands direction and what’s happening in 2017….
So you have your first ever live date as LaKyoto coming up on Sunday, what can people expect?
People can expect to see a show the likes of which they’ve never seen in Edinburgh before! This show has been four months in the making and we’ve put hard thought into every single aspect of it to make sure we blow the audience away. Expect massive synths, high energy and beautiful visuals. We hope to send people away talking about this show for a long time and wanting so much more.
What can people anticipate from you guys as a band in regards to your new sound and overall band image?
One of the main reasons we chose LaKyoto was the endless potential to experiment with image that comes with having a city or a country in your band name. We all find Japanese culture fascinating in a way, as things are so different there compared to home. We’ve decided to really play on the Japanese imagery; expect plenty of neon lights and advertising boards, native Kyoto plant-life and some of the prettiest stage set ups you have ever seen. Musically, the sound is pretty full on, with punchy synth lines, pulsing sub-bass and euphoric vocals.
Where did the inspiration for the name LaKyoto come from, what’s the story behind it?
As we say, we knew we wanted to play on the imagery of having a city in our band name. We chose Kyoto due to the similarities between it and Edinburgh, our home town. Kyoto is known as the ‘thousand-year capital’ of Japan, and its respect and preservation of pre-war architecture, like Edinburgh’s old town. We thought this allowed us to pay homage to our home town as well as show our musical ambition. Besides, LaKyoto sounds much better than LaEdinburgh!
What are you guys aiming to achieve this year as a new band in the Scottish Music Industry?
We’ve been planning a lot behind the scenes for the launch of LaKyoto and can’t wait to now put it all into practise over the coming months. We hope to establish ourselves this year – both live and online – and create a base upon which to really start making some headway into the industry in 2018. We’ve thought hard over every last detail of the live show to ensure that we give the best account of ourselves as possible.
In respect to new material, what was the writing process behind the new material from LaKyoto?
We’re lucky in the sense that the four of us are comfortable, accomplished songwriters so we can spread the workload between us. We definitely prefer it this way; everyone gets a say and we all get to bring our ideas to the table for each song. Kieran (Bass/Synths) and Scott (Guitar/Synths) write and program all of the synth parts and Conor (Vocals) writes his own melody and lyrics. Kyle (Drums) then writes all of his own parts and turns an idea into a live song with a proper feel. This time, we wanted to add a roughness to the music – to make the songs sound bigger and slightly more aggressive – so there’s definitely more live instrumentation in each song.
Where did the inspiration for the new material come from?
Like every band, we have a large list of influences that have shaped the base of our sound, but we always strive to be our own entity. Kieran and Scott’s writing style is influenced by some of the most prominent synth pop bands around, but they always put their unique stamp on each song. Lyrically, we are influenced by day-to-day issues and observations around us; we want our songs to be clever but not alienate the audience and make it difficult for them to relate.
What can fans anticipate from new material from LaKyoto?
Huge, unashamed, synth pop songs. In-your-face electronics, dance-like drums and soaring, memorable choruses. We always try to find that perfect blend of intricate and intelligent music mixed with mainstream simplicity in every song. We put a lot of thought and care into each chorus to make sure the audience will be singing them for days. Fans can also expect an energetic, exciting live show, with a lot more to look at on stage than four guys playing songs.
What’s next for LaKyoto, what can people look forward to in 2017 from you guys?
Our debut single, Runaway, will be released very soon, which will be accompanied by some big Edinburgh and Glasgow shows, as well as a couple of festival slots that we are really looking forward to.
The last song you listened to?
Gorillaz – Empire Ants
Musical guilty pleasure?
Ronan Keating – Life Is A Rollercoaster
Favourite gig experience when attending?
Foals at the Hydro last year. Chaos. Absolute chaos. And I think that was our fault.
Most overused band phrase?
Describe LaKyoto in three words?
New Favourite Band
Worst gift ever given or received?
JLS CD for Christmas….Still unopened.
You can catch LaKyoto at Sneaky Pete’s this coming Sunday ( April 2nd ) so make sure you get yourselves along!
Get your tickets here – http://lakyoto.bigcartel.com/product/lakyoto-debut-show-sneaky-petes-02-04-17